When you’re trying to choose a washing machine there are literally dozens of variables to consider, and conflicting reviews make it a mind-boggling experience. When I needed to buy a top load washer I couldn’t believe how hard it was — and I’m a former home magazine editor-in-chief (which is only to say that I’m used to making sense of complicated consumer research).
[NOTE: This article was last updated on May 30, 2018]
Faced with my family’s growing mound of dirty clothes, I decided to get down to the bottom of it. I looked at the top-rated, top-loading washing machine reviews on Home Depot’s website and Best Buy‘s website. Then I tallied them together and analyzed the results. Ta-da!
You’ll find the answers below — including details on the Maytag Bravos I ended up buying. PLUS, you can now find a video of my washing machine on the spin cycle, as it spins a very large, heavy duty load of laundry. I added this in because it’s so hard to tell about noise level when you read about it.
>>Also check out my Washing Machine Buyer Guide: 23 Things You Need to Know and my post Appliance Brands and Models: How the Heck to Choose.
Please keep in mind that there’s really no way to create an ABSOLUTE best list because there are so many variables involved in buying a washing machine. Something that’s perfect for you may lack details that I need, and vice-versa. You need to ask yourself a series of very specific questions just to know what your priorities are.
If you want to skip reading about my methodology, just keep scrolling until you get to the best washing machine model details. If you want to know the nitty-gritty, I’ve first outlined exactly what I did.
My Methodology for Choosing the Best Washing Machine Models:
- When I did my research, I first narrowed my focus by excluding portable washers and washer-dryer combo machines.
2. I also looked at all of the top-rated washing machines in the top-loading category on the websites of Home Depot and Best Buy. I picked these websites because they carry a large selection. I buy my big appliances from Home Depot because I find that the appliance savings are usually the best there, plus it offers free shipping on most orders over $45. I limited my research here to models that had at least 500 reviews, because I needed some way to narrow them down.
However, this is an imperfect science: These two stores often carry different models and different brands. And sometimes a model that gets more than 500 great reviews on one site doesn’t get that many on the other.
3. I looked at the U.S. government’s ENERGY STAR ratings of the most efficient washing machines.
4. In some cases I found washing machine models with over 400 ratings and more than 4 stars. So I highlighted these for you since they may be new and by the time you read this, they’ll top 500.
>>Affiliate notice: I research every product I recommend, and I only give high marks to the very best. Some of the links here may be affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation from companies if you purchase from them. This is at no cost to you and it helps me keep this website running. So thanks for helping me! I independently own this site and the opinions expressed here are my own.<<
My Results: The 19 Best Top-Loading Washing Machines of 2018
Here’s what I came up with as a result of all this. Scroll down to see my breakdown brand by brand, and model by model.
Note that the prices listed are based on prices from Home Depot’s website and Best Buy’s website from March 19, 2018. Within each brand I’ve listed the models in order by machine capacity (as measured in cubic feet).
Amana Brand (owned by The Whirlpool Corporation)
Model NTW4516FW – 3.5 cu. ft. Top Load Washer in White. 4.3 stars out of 3,543 ratings on HomeDepot.com. Also has 4.4 stars out of 1,180 ratings on BestBuy.com. $397
Model WT1501CW – 4.5 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Front Control Top Load Washer in White, ENERGY STAR. 4.3 stars out of 3,939 ratings on HomeDepot.com. Also has 4.6 stars out of 827 ratings on BestBuy.com. $597
Model WT7600HKA – 5.2 cu. ft. High Efficiency Top Load Washer with Steam and Turbo Wash in Black Stainless, ENERGY STAR. Has 4.5 stars out of 509 ratings on Home Depot. $947. Also comes in white (Model WT7600HWA, $848).
Model WT7200CW – LG – 5.0 Cu. Ft. 8-Cycle Top-Loading Washer in White. 4.6 stars out of 1,055 ratings on Home Depot. 4.6 stars out of 440 ratings on BestBuy.com. $764. Comes in graphite steel, too (Model WT7200CV, $747).
Model WTW5000DW – 4.3 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White. 4.3 stars out of 13,471 ratings on HomeDepot.com. Also has 4.3 stars out of 2,342 ratings on BestBuy.com. $568.
Model WTW7000DW – 4.8 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Adapative Wash Technology in White, Intuitive Touch Controls. 4.4 stars out of 2,736 ratings on HomeDepot.com. Also has 4.4 stars out of 881 ratings on BestBuy.com. $578
Model WTW8000DW – 5.3 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with Adapative Wash Technology in White, Intuitive Touch Controls. 4.4 stars out of 3,570 ratings on HomeDepot.com. $899.
Model WTW8500DC – 5.3 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with ColorLast in Chrome Shadow, Intuitive Touch Controls. Also comes in white. 4.4 stars out of 2,945 ratings on HomeDepot.com. $1,169.
Maytag Models (also owned by the Whirlpool Corporation):
Model MVWC565FW – 4.2 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White with Deep Water Wash and PowerWash. 4.3 stars out of 6,230 ratings on HomeDepot.com. $548
Model MVWX655DW – Bravos 4.3 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White. 4.4 stars out of 14,397 ratings on HomeDepot.com. Also has 4.3 stars out of 811 ratings on BestBuy.com. $597
This is the washing machine I ended up buying after all my research! I absolutely love it because it’s perfect for my family’s needs. It holds TONS of laundry, so I find that I do fewer loads overall. I can actually wash a few blankets at once (including king-sized). Plus I find that my clothes don’t come out super wrinkled because there’s no center post — it’s just one big, open tub.
I really like the old-fashioned knobs. It’s very basic and easy to use; no computer panel to deal with. Aesthetically I really like the glass door, though I can’t say it’s ever been useful to be able to see the clothes spinning.
The water-saving feature means that it comes out in a continuous trickle and the tub won’t fill above the clothes unless you tell it to. When I first got it I thought it couldn’t possibly be using enough water. But my clothes always come out clean and our water bill hasn’t gone up at all.
I have no complaints, except a word of warning: It takes longer for a load to complete washing because of the energy-saving feature. A stuffed-full, heavy duty load takes 64 minutes. I think it’s worth it.
Based on a reader’s request: Here’s a video I made so you can hear the wash cycle! Listen through to the end. It makes a sound about 6 times when it first starts to fill, but then the sound goes away.
Here’s a video I made so you can hear the spin cycle, which is so quiet! You can also see how it spins with no central agitator. Very cool.
- For this video I loaded in a ton of heavy duty stuff: 7 bath towels, one throw blanket, 3 hand towels, 9 washcloths, and 1 tablecloth. There’s a photo of this laundry load in the video.
- It took a total of 64 minutes to complete the load.
- I set it to “heavy” wash; warm water; bulky/sheets setting.
Two more things worth noting about this washer (with gorgeous photos from my laundry closet):
- It has a 10-year warranty! (Ignore that wire shelf reflected on the glass door; it’s my shelf with lots of stuff on it.) And yeah, it’s a limited parts warranty, but 10 years sounds like a good long time to me.
2) It’s “designed, engineered, and assembled in the U.S.A.” For any American who’s taken a look around their home recently and noticed how many things aren’t made here anymore, I think this is a very cool fact. I personally love supporting local companies.
The other best Maytags:
Model MVWB765FW– 4.7 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer with PowerWash Cycle in White (with agitator). Also comes in metallic slate (Model MVWB765FC). 4.5 stars out of 3,270 ratings on HomeDepot.com. $678
Model MVWB835DW – 5.3 cu. ft. High-Efficiency Top Load Washer in White. 4.3 stars out of 6,606 ratings on Home Depot. 4.4 stars out of 528 ratings on BestBuy.com. $738. Also comes in Chrome Shadow (Model MVWB835DC), $788.
Model GTW330ASKWW – 3.8 cu. ft. DOE Top Load Washer in White. 4.1 stars out of 3,440 ratings on HomeDepot.com. $448
Model GTW460ASJWW – 4.2 cu. ft. Top Load Washer in White. 4.1 stars out of 8,472 ratings on HomeDepot.com. Also has 4.3 stars out of 641 ratings on BestBuy.com. $497
Model GTW680BSJWS – 4.6 cu. ft. Top Load Washer in White, ENERGY STAR. 4.3 stars out of 3,535 ratings on HomeDepot.com. $597. (Editor’s Note: Please read Kevin’s comment in the comments section below about his machine becoming unbalanced. I’ve since read similar comments about this model from others reviewers on the Web. Enough people give the machine great reviews that it made my list. But it sounds like the performance of this machine can be unreliable…)
Note: When I checked the HomeDepot.com site, no Samsung top-load washers had more than 300 reviews, so I didn’t include those ratings here.
Model WA45M7050AW – 4.5 Cu. Ft. 9-Cycle Top-Loading Washer in White. 4.3 stars out of 912 ratings on BestBuy.com. 4.2 out of 428 on HomeDepot.com. $598.
Model WA50M7450AW – 5.0 Cu. Ft. 11-Cycle High-Efficiency Top-Loading Washer in White. 4.6 stars out of 928 ratings on BestBuy.com. Also has 4.1 stars out of 447 ratings on Home Depot. $648.
Model WA52M7750AW – Activewash 5.2 Cu. Ft. 13-Cycle High-Efficiency Top-Loading Washer with Steam in White. 4.6 stars out of 551 ratings on BestBuy.com. 4.2 stars out of 276 ratings on Home Depot. $748. Also comes in black stainless steel (Model WA52M7750AV), $798.
Here are other good articles worth reading:
Do you have questions about buying a washing machine?
Please let me know what you think of this list by leaving a comment below, or if you think I need to make any corrections. This is complicated stuff, but hopefully my research will help you find a model you’ll be happy with!